India builds a sea rescue centre in Sri Lanka, gets an edge against China

This grant includes a centre at Navy Headquarters in Colombo, a sub-centre in Hambantota and unmanned installations at Galle, Arugambay, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Kallarawa, Point Pedro and Mollikulam.
Last Updated : 20 June 2024, 09:37 IST

Follow Us :


New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday joined Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe to commission the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre that India built in the neighbouring Indian Ocean nation.

Jaishankar and Wickremesinghe discussed plans for the supply of Liquefied Natural Gas from India to Sri Lanka. They also discussed ways to advance oil and gas exploration projects in Sri Lanka and the proposal for constructing a petroleum pipeline linking the two nations. They announced that the construction of the Sampur Solar Power Plant in Sri Lanka with financial support from India would commence next month.

The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Sri Lanka was built by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) headquartered in Bengaluru with a $ 6 million grant from the Government of India. It was formally launched when Jaishankar called on Wickremesinghe during his tour to Colombo – his first bilateral visit to a foreign nation after he commenced his second term as the external affairs minister of India. An Indian Navy ship – INS Kamorta – arrived at the Trincomalee Harbour on the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka on Thursday, coinciding with the external affairs minister’s visit to the island nation.

New Delhi’s role in building the MRCC in Sri Lanka was yet another milestone in India’s power projection in its maritime neighbourhood, amid the increasing forays of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy in the Indian Ocean region.

Jaishankar wrote on X that he discussed with Wickremesinghe the way forward for the cooperation between India and Sri Lanka, especially in power, energy, connectivity, port infrastructure, aviation, digital, health, food security, education, and tourism sectors.

The external affairs minister and Sri Lankan president jointly handed over to the beneficiaries 48 houses built with financial support from New Delhi under the Model Village Housing Project in the Colombo and Trincomalee districts of the island nation. Besides, 106 more houses built under Phase III of the Indian Housing Project in the Kandy, Matale, and Nuwara Eliya Districts were also handed over to the beneficiaries.

The BEL built the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) at the headquarters of the Sri Lankan Navy in Colombo, with a sub-centre in Hambantota, where a deep-water port built by and leased to China has been a security concern for India. will be linked to the units in strategically important coastal towns, like Galle, Arugam Bay, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Kallarawa, Point Pedro, and Mullikulam.

The MRCC in Colombo and its units will coordinate the operations of the Sri Lankan Navy and the Coast Guard in the vast Search and Rescue Region of the island nation, which is strategically located astride busy and important sea lanes in the Indian Ocean.

Jaishankar had separate meetings with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa, and leaders of the various political parties from the North, East, and the upcountry region.

Published 20 June 2024, 09:37 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us